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Pospisil Upsets Gasquet; Seppi Beats Hewitt

Shanghai, China

Seppi© AFP/Getty ImagesAndreas Seppi will look to overturn a 0-9 deficit against Roger Federer in the second round.

Richard Gasquet was dealt a blow in his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday when he was beaten in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. The ninth seed was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

Gasquet is currently ninth in the Emirates ATP Race To London and bidding to claim one of the four remaining berths at the season finale in London. Coming off back-to-back semi-final showings in Bangkok and Beijing, the Frenchman dropped to a 44-18 match record on the season.

Pospisil prevailed in 70 minutes, firing 10 aces and converting both his break points. "The key was to stay aggressive the whole the time, even in the big moments, going for my shots,” said the 23 year old. “I worked hard the past couple of weeks in practice sets to play that way and I was really proud of myself that when the tight situations came up I was going for my shots. It worked out today and I'm very happy. 

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"It's a huge win for me,” continued Pospisil, who made his major breakthrough in August when he beat Tomas Berdych en route to reaching the Rogers Cup semi-finals (l. to Raonic). “It's my second Top 10 win this year and the second highest ranked player I've ever beaten, so I'm really excited and can't wait for the next match."

Andreas Seppi overcame a slow start to defeat former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 6-2. The Italian trailed 0-3 in the first set, but won 12 of the next 15 games to claim victory in 81 minutes.

"He hardly missed a ball after the first three games," said Hewitt. "I had chances to go up 4-0. From then on, he played really well. He served better than I've seen him serve before. He actually got a high percentage of first serves in. On that kind of court out there, it's the perfect kind of court for him."

Seppi goes on to face Roger Federer, whom he has never beaten in their previous nine FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. The 29-year-old Italian had lost in the opening round at four of his past five tournaments and improved to a 28-25 match record on the season.

As heavy rain continued to fall in Shanghai, matches were moved to the indoor courts in an effort to get through the first round. 

Philipp Kohlschreiber finished strongly to defeat Chinese wild card Mao-Zin Gong 7-5, 6-2, setting a second-round contest with sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro. Meanwhile, Feliciano Lopez battled past Jarkko Nieminen 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3 in just under two hours to earn a contest with fourth seed Tomas Berdych.

Kevin Anderson will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round after edging Victor Hanescu 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in two hours and 23 minutes. Anderson is looking to rediscover his rich form from the first half of the season, having lost in the first round at three of his past four tournaments.

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